Date of Award

7-1979

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Geography

Supervisor

Dr. S.M. Taylor

Abstract

The focus of this thesis is on public response to community mental health facilities. The mentally ill are increasingly being moved out of the asylum and into small group homes and treatment facilities in the community. The response of community residents to this move, as far as it is understood, is generally one of opposition and rejection. Further understanding of response to community mental health facilities, with a view to predicting and improving that response, is vital to the success of the community mental health movement.

This thesis tests the link between the perception of fit and response to community mental health facilities for a sample of Toronto residents (n=1090). The perception of fit refers to the individual community resident's perception of how well the facility fits physically into the neighbourhood and how well the facility users fit socially into the neighbourhood. The perception of fit is measured as the perceived impacts of a facility on the neighbouhood, and as the similarity of perceptions of a facility and perceptions of the neighbourhood. In addition, community residents' views about fit are measured in an open-ended question.

Community residents are primarily concerned with the physical characteristics of the facility and its relative location in the neighbourhood. The perception of the fit between a community mental health facility and the neighbourhood varies with respondent awareness of facilities: those aware of a facility in their neighbourhood generally perceive a better fit than those not aware of a facility in their neighbourhood. Attitudinal response to facilities is significantly related to the perception of fit, and can be influenced by the physical characteristics of the facility, by community education, and by the operational characteristics of the facility which control the activities of the facility users.

Included in

Geography Commons

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